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Old 02-23-2004, 06:47 AM   #1
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Exclamation Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

Need Help!Moderate DISC protrusion IMPINGING ON the THECAL SAC/SPINAL CANAL...SERIOUS?

Can anyone tell me if this is serious or just a exaggerated terminology.

Thanks

 
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

Any time you have anything pressing against your spinal canal it needs attention. The seriousness of it depends on how much it is pressing on it. Do you have any symptoms yet? Have you had an MRI done?

Frank

 
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:59 PM   #3
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

Hi Frank,
Thanks for your reply. That info that I am trying to find out is from a MRI. I do have arm, shoulder, back pain for some time now

MacG

 
Old 02-23-2004, 07:35 PM   #4
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
Hi Frank,
Thanks for your reply. That info that I am trying to find out is from a MRI. I do have arm, shoulder, back pain for some time now

MacG
Hi Mac. I agree that anything pressing on your spinal cord is serious, but don't panic. My MRI read:

C5-6--There is a small midline protruding disc which moderately effaces the thecal sac. The neural foramina at this level are unremarkable.
C6-7--The study shows a huge extruded disc within the right paracentral area, obliterating almost the entire right spinal canalicular thecal sac, with extension into the entrance zone of the right neural foramen. This huge disc is a grade 3 disc extrusion. The left neural foramen is unremarkable.

It scared me to death, especially when my Primary care doctor called and said you will be having surgery asap because they don't use words like huge or obliterating on MRI reports. Then the neurosurgeon called and squeezed me in in three days instead of the normal 30+ days. I thought I was gonna drop dead at any moment , but I haven't. I'm having a two level fusion on March 16th. Good luck.
Grace

 
Old 02-23-2004, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

Thank you grace for your reply. I feel a lot better now knowing that it is not going to cause paralysis. I had symptoms for almost a year now, in your opinion, do you think I'll be facing surgery? I just hate hospitals. Good luck with your upcoming surgery and keep me posted on your recovery and experience.

Take care!
Mac

 
Old 02-24-2004, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
Thank you grace for your reply. I feel a lot better now knowing that it is not going to cause paralysis. I had symptoms for almost a year now, in your opinion, do you think I'll be facing surgery? I just hate hospitals. Good luck with your upcoming surgery and keep me posted on your recovery and experience.

Take care!
Mac
Hiya Mac,

I don't really know enough to even guess if you will have surgery. I think it really depends on your symptoms. I have numbness/tingling in my finger and thumb and general pain throughout my neck, arm and shoulder. NS did the nerve tests with his little wheel that he rolls up and down on your skin. I have decreased sensation in several areas of my right arm and decreased muscle. I do know that if it is already touching your spinal cord, you need to be extra careful of accidents. You don't want it compressed any further. NS told me to try not to sneeze or cough (right, like I can control that). Wear your seat belt and no playing in the ice/snow!

My neurosurgeon took all my control away when he said you have no choice but to have surgery. I did not want it, but I do not want to take a chance of this getting worse and/or causing any permanent damage. I have decided that I like my ns and trust him and his ability. I need to just accept it and have a positive attitude. I will let you know how everything goes. Good luck. When do you see a doc next? Are you seeing a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon?
Grace

 
Old 02-24-2004, 01:30 PM   #7
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

It's all a matter of degree. I had a severely herniated disk at c-6 and 7 which was impinging the spinal the canal, but not significantly at first. Months later, the disk had totally collapsed , causing the vertebrae to be stair-stepped out of place. This, in effect, put a bend or kink in the canal. The surgeon I was referred to said that this was a dangerous situation and recommended the ACDF fusion surgery immediately. Though my nerve(s) to my left arm were damaged, I had NO symptoms from spinal cord injury. Things didn't work out for the surgery I scheduled immediately, so I ended up waiting another three months. Finally the surgery got scheduled and I got it done. This was about a year after the accident that caused the injury. Waiting that long, I have to accept the nerve damage to the arm is perminant, though it has gained strength. Considering how bad that bend in the spinal canal was, it's amazing that it seems to be o.k.!

My best advice is to get a couple of opinions on how significant the impingment is into the canal is and to periodically have various imaging done, particularly MRI's - if surgery is not immediate. Fusion surgery always requires careful consideration.

 
Old 03-23-2004, 01:24 AM   #8
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Re: Is this serious?...Disc bulge impinging on thecal sac/spinal canal

This raises a good question that I have...

I have been diagnosed with having a right paracentral disc protrusion of approx. 3mm resulting in a ventral impression upon my spinal cord. I have moderate to severe pain bilaterally in both arms, bilateral weakness, bouts of tingling and cold/itching, definite grip degeneration, dizziness, headaches, spasms and twitching in my shoulderblades/upper body and pain in my upper body. I am also experiencing severe lower back pain and numbness in my left leg starting from my buttocks to about my knee. When I spoke with my NS he stated that he felt that these symptoms were most likely not related to the cord compression, since in his opinion a 3mm impression is not considered that bad. He ordered PT and scheduled me for a follow up appt. Is it possible that this impinging of my cord is bad enough to be causing these problems? And if so, should I consult another doctor? The symptoms seem to be getting worse instead of better.....

Jeff

 
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